Lake Superior College was recently designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). LSC is the only two-year community and technical college in the Minnesota to earn this designation.
Through the President’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan, the National Centers of Academic Excellence in Cybersecurity Program is charged to raise the level of cybersecurity capabilities across the nation. NSA and DHS partner with academic institutions to enhance cybersecurity education nationwide and to develop the next generation of cybersecurity experts.
“We are honored to be designated as a national center of academic excellence in cyber defense,” said LSC President Patrick Johns. “We recognize how critical a trained cyber defense workforce is for both the public and private sector. LSC is fortunate to have talented faculty on board who have been at the forefront of developing partnerships and academic programs to address these needs.”
The goal of the program is to reduce vulnerability in the national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and research in cyber defense and producing professionals with cyber defense expertise.
“Cyber security skills will only continue to become more in-demand over time, “said LSC faculty member and nationally recognized cyber security expert Vickie McLain. “Protecting information is a monumental task, and a task that LSC students have proven to be enormously talented at doing.”
LSC has taken a leadership role in providing focused cyber security education through a number of initiatives. Lake Superior College offers a Network Administration and Cybersecurity AAS degree that is available online or on campus. A transfer agreement with St Cloud State University allows LSC students to transfer and complete their bachelor’s degree on the SCSU campus.
LSC students can also access a CyberCorps Scholarship for Service with St. Cloud State University. The nationally funded scholarship program supports LSC students with AAS degrees to transition to a four-year degree in cyber security through a fully funded cyber scholarship program that includes student mentors from the university working with the LSC students. Six LSC students are currently CyberCorp Scholarship recipients which includes 30 credits of tuition a year, books paid for and travel money, plus a $22,500 per year stipend.
LSC’s popular and free summer high school cyber camps provide the opportunity to introduce high school students to the world of cyber security through hands-on workshops. Cyber camps are tentatively scheduled for June 2017.